Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

June 25, 2008

Respect for My Elders

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:14 pm


One of my new motor sports heroes has suddenly become O. Bruton Smith.  One third of the current NASCAR schedule runs through his properties.  His tracks have consistently also held mostly successful Indy Racing events without much of the France family drama at tracks they own.  Those two things alone put him in a unique position to shake things up in multiple series.  It appears he is trying to do that, particularly after he put Humpy ‘drop-a-Caddy-from-a-crane-and-call-it-a-safety-test’ Wheeler out to pasture at Concord.  



The main problem is Bruton is 81 years old.  Sooner or later he’ll either retire or expire.  I find myself wishing the guy was 41 again only with all of his accumulated knowledge and wealth.  He has strongly hinted we could see Indy Racing back in New Hampshire and Las Vegas in the near future.  For that he deserves praise.  Indy Racing returning to New Hampshire would likely be met with more promotion than there used to be, which consisted primarily of members of the former owner Bahre family opening gates and waving at fans coming in.  Las Vegas presents interesting end-of-season scenarios and possibilities for Defender family travel excuses.  


He is also going to take NASCAR to Kentucky, which goes against the France grain. Anything he does that runs contrary to the NASCAR status quo is admirable.  He will make watching NASCAR politics more fun.  I am thinking de facto partnership with Indy Racing is mutually beneficial.


The one thing he could do that would REALLY be fascinating is start another ‘stock’ car series.  A ‘split,’ if you will, in that arena.  It could not get any better than that for jaded fans like myself who put up with that kind of nonsense for a dozen years in open wheel while NASCAR trampled over everything. As long as he does not resort to tacky gimmicks, I will be fine.  Maybe that is why he and Humpy divorced.


With the possibility of two new ovals instead of additional God forsaken temporary street circuits, there is hope for the current brain trust.  I am also curious to ask someone how their engine manufacturer summit held yesterday in Indianapolis went.  


Meantime, the main thing on the Defender radar is the always great Richmond race coming up Saturday.  It looks to be hot again, but Saturday night is a great time for it. See you there (with my new NASCAR friends/converts). 


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